Here is a very small nugget pulled from one of the ways Mr. Galper talks about how to practice intervals, scales and arpeggios in the book. I am going to show you some examples using the interval of a third and the C Major scale so, buckle up.
Remember from earlier posts, that the word diatonic is just a fancy music school term for "only using notes in that key", thats all. So when I say "diatonic" and C major it just means that we are ONLY going to use the notes from that scale, and thusly, being C major, there will be no sharps or flats, just C D E F G A B C.
Now, if you take C Major notes, and you play a third off each note of the scale respectively, you get something like this:
Ascending Scale in Ascending Diatonic Thirds
bass lick tempo 90 2/4 |Cmaj c8 e Dmin d f |Emin e g Fmaj f a | GMaj g b Amin a c | Bdim b d c4
You probably have played that one, or heard something similar, it is a very common way to get the major scale under your fingers.
But there are always a couple of other ways to play the same set of intervals and when you start combining these different permutations, things start sounding less see-I-know-how-to-play-my-scales-y and more like phrases and licks that you can use during a solo.
Here is another way to get through the major scale in thirds, where instead of going up a third, you descend a third, so the first pair of notes is E down to C:
Ascending Scale in Descending Diatonic Thirds
bass lick tempo 90 2/4 | Cmaj e8 c Dmin f d | Emin g e Fmaj a f | GMaj b g Amin c a | Bdim d b c4
Now you can alternate each group of thirds, with the first group descending:
Ascending Scale - First Third Descending
bass lick tempo 90 2/4 | Cmaj e8 c Dmin d f | Emin g e Fmaj f a | GMaj b g Amin a c | Bdim d b c4
And you can alternate with the second third descending:
Ascending Scale - Second Third Descending
bass lick tempo 90 2/4 | Cmaj c8 e Dmin f d |Emin e g Fmaj a f | GMaj g b Amin c a | Bdim b d c4
Now how to turn these into licks?
Well since all of these notes are within a key, anytime you have a chord that works in C Major, so a C Major 7, or C Major #11, or even a Dmin, or Emin, or G7, or A min, you can use combinations of these same intervals.
Here is how that would work over a C Major chord, it is nothing but a combination of those intervals from above, but the rhythm is now 16ths and the patterns are moved around a little octave-wise.
Third Based Lick
bass lick tempo 120 2/4 | Cmaj e16 c f d g e b g | c a d b c+4
That is just one piddly example, there are a million ways you can do this, for example:
- Don't play the thirds in scale order, do them in another order, like go something like C, G, D,A,E,B F, C which is going up in 5ths. So C E, B G, F D, A C etc.
- Repeat one or two patterns before going to the next one
- Change the rhythm
- Mix up other intervals, don't just do it in thirds, do the first one as a third, the next one as a fourth or a sixth and then mix up the directions ascending and descending.
This is another one of those lick-factory ideas where you can get a million different chunks of solos out of stuff like this. As per usual, you have to make this sound like it is not just scalar patterns but is actually a melody of some kind.
Of course, this works with minor scales too, and you can do all the intervals within any kind of scale - thirds, fourths, fifths, sixths, and sevenths. Even bigger intervals if you wanted to, especially if you have an extended range bass, like ninths and tenths. Big stretches though.
So there ya go, something to chew on. Go nuts.